Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Panama Hats and the Vanity of Men

Lawrenceville Republican
May 16, 1907


Weather Keeps Them Indoors and Makes Wearers Sour

The farmers have been delayed in their crops by the cold, wet spring. The women have been hindered in their house cleaning from the same cause. But all of this is of no consequence as compared with the discomfort of Dr. Z. D. French and Jesse M. Peck. Every rainy chilly day was greeted by a scowl on the face of these gentlemen infinitely darker than the sky. The weather was chilly, but the actions of these two men was even more frigid. Their friends got no malfeasance or consideration from them. They moved about thoroughly dissatisfied with themselves and everybody about them. They refuse to be comforted or to reveal the cause of their discomfort.

Now the Republican is a friend to both of these gentlemen and was concerned in no small degree over their unseemly conduct. Direct questions failing to give satisfactory results, we were almost to the point of despair when Wednesday of last week, the cause suddenly revealed itself by Dr. French himself, who came into this office wearing a fine $10 Panama hat. The day was chilly, entirely too chilly for a Panama, which, with the handsome appearance of the Doctor, attracted our attention to the hat. In reply to our complimentary remark about the hat, he burst forth with a volcanic eruption of 30 days pent-up indignation as follows, "Yes, Milt," he said "Peck and I have had new $10 Panama hats for a month and we haven't been able to wear them because of the cussed cold weather."

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

First Alumni Banquet 1916

On January 1, 1916 all graduates of BTHS were invited to meet at Hotel Jefferson in Bridgeport for the first alumni banquet. Despite bad weather and roads, a large percentage of those living in and about Bridgeport were present.  Of the 105 graduates the following were present:  Class of 1898 Luella Eaton; 1903, Esther Martin, W. H. Eaton; 1905 Lena Edwards, Clarence Umfleet; 1912, Mildred McCloskey, Mrs W. L. Black, Irene Couchman, Eugene Couchman, Earl Shaffer; 1913, Lowell Judy, Annie Finley, Kenneth Umfleet, Armon Pitman, Everett Seed; 1914, Mrs. C. R. Rigall, Esther Cohen, Lucille Emerick, Gennell Evans, Byron Leach, Kathleen McCloskey, Chas. Martin, Bulis Seed, Maxine Seed, Ralph Spencer; 1915, Marguerite Brennan, Earl Clark, Harriet Cox, Claude M. Foster, Kimmel Hillis, June Judy, Merrill King, Wm. B. Kiser, Mrs. Hubert Madding, Lee Patton, Helen Sartor, Iva Turman.  Others present were Principal and Mrs O M Eastman, Byron R. Lewis, C. R. Rigall and Hubert Madding.

A list of Alumni, their occupation, and address was printed in the 1916 BTHS yearbook.
Class of 1896
Williard J. Wiswall, Insurance, Bridgeport
Victor Buchanan, Teacher Seattle Wash.

Class of 1897
Floyd R. Abernathy, Railroad Agent Lebanon, Ill
William H. Gillespie, Ferryman St. Francisville Ill
Luther Cooper, Farmer Bridgeport
Wendal Martin, Telegraph Operator Lebanon, Ill
Blanche Corrie, Peoria, Ill
Kate Kavanaugh, Mrs Everett Steward, Sullivan Ill
Dequin Spencer, Mrs P. K. Petty, Sumner, Ill
Edna Wiswall, Mrs X. Corrithers, McFarland, Cal
Carrie Carson, deceased

Class of 1899
Minnie Starkman, Mrs. Flemin Cox Lawrenceville Ill
Belle Kavanaugh, Deceased
Ethel Highfield, Mrs. Ethel Hickman Ladonia Mo
Elvia Roderick, Deceased
Luela Easton, At Home Bridgeport
Ed Bryan, Deceased
Alva Petty (unknown)

The other classes were listed as well and those interested may view the yearbook at the History Center.  Some interesting occupations and addresses were Helen Piper (Class of 1901) Supervisor of Music Helena Mont; Elsa Fryburger- Class of 1904 (Mrs C. M. Post) lived at Drumright, Okla and Irene Wiswall -also Class of 1904 resided in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Two alumni were lawyers, Clarence Umfleet -Class of 1905 and Eugene Couchman -Class of 1912.

Winifred Andrews Class of 1910 was a milliner in Bridgeport, as was Hazel Sutton in Vincennes (Class of 1913). In the Class of 1911 Cora Amsler was a musician in Cushing, Okla, Ray C. Pickell was a grain investigator in Buenos Aires, Argentine Republic and Mark Pickell was an editor in Chicago. The Class of 1912 had a telephone operator (Mary Claycomb) and a Railway Postal clerk (Orrie Simmons). The class of 1913 showed that Kenneth Umfleet was a Music Director in Louisa, Ky and Edwin Schrader was a teacher in Allendale.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Bridgeport Churches

The three churches in 'downtown' Bridgeport

Christian Church  1915

Methodist Church not dated

Presbyterian Church 1910 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Maxwell Park Photo and Bio of A L Maxwell

Mawell Park 
Rare Photo of Maxwell Park:  A.L. (Andrew Love) Maxwell died on July 9, 1922. One of his last wishes was to build a wading pool at Maxwell Park. A photo was taken of the new pool and brought to him on his death bed. 

Lawrence County News March 9, 1933

A.L. Maxwell
            (April 4, 1857 – July 9, 1922)
A.L. Maxwell came from Crawford County. For many years he owned and operated a thrashing outfit and was interested largely in farming. One of his first ventures in Lawrenceville was the purchase of the Lawrence County News in 1897. The paper was run down, but with the assistance of O. V. Hardacre as editor, it was soon built up and took a decided stand on all questions of public policy. 

Later Mr. Maxwell sold his interest in the News and embarked in the automobile business, then in its infancy. His success in this line was remarkable and it was due solely to his untiring energy and hard work. He was the promoter of the first telephone company in the city, and through his efforts that the city secured a low natural gas rate when the oilfield was opened. He was instrumental in the building of Hotel Lawrence and invested in business buildings when other men of means hesitated to spend their money for public improvements. No man of the present generation had so much to do with the growth and prosperity of Lawrenceville.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Maxwell Park Part 5

Part 5 (Ten years later)

Lawrence County News June 6, 1928
Playground In Bad Shape
Lack of Money Handicaps Council in Maintaining Equipment

The playgrounds at the southeast part of the city, between Seventh and Sixth Street, are in bad condition and just what to do in the matter is causing the City Council a great deal of worry. The matter was discussed at the regular meeting Friday night and was finally referred to the building and grounds committee in hopes that a solution of the vexing problem of finance might be worked out.

It will be remembered that the late A. L. Maxwell donated this plot of ground to the city after equipping it with usual playground apparatus. The Central Refining Company erected a brick and stucco building containing toilet and restrooms at the cost of approximately $6000. Later, Mr. Maxwell had a wading pool constructed for the kiddies and a plan to fence the grounds was underway but abandoned when the price of steel soared to a prohibitive point.

For several years a number of organizations contributed to the salary of a playground instructor and a great deal of interest was manifested by mothers of the city, many who accompanied their children to the grounds on pleasant afternoons. The hoodlum element made good use of the grounds at night with the inevitable result that the apparatus was soon damaged and in some cases broken so as to be unfit for use. This same element almost ruined the handsome building erected by the Central Refining Company until today, it is an unsightly heap of rubbish, and neighbors threatened to bring proceedings to declare it a nuisance.

Time and time again the city has appropriated small sums of money to repair the apparatus and in a few weeks the vandals would undo the work done in way of repairs. Now it has reached the point at where it will require a considerable sum to put the playgrounds in the condition for use and there is no money in the city treasury to do that work.

At the meeting of the Council Friday night A. C. Stoltz, president of the Chamber of Commerce pledged the help of that organization in repairing the building and apparatus. It proposed a steel fence around the grounds and employ a watchman, giving him police powers that he may arrest the vandals who congregate nightly in the grounds. It is estimated it will cost $1500 to fence the grounds and Mr. Stoltz was confident that this sum of money could be raised by the Chamber of Commerce.

Some members of the Council are in favor of deeding the ground back to the Maxwell heirs inasmuch as the city does not seem to be able to maintain the playground. Others favored selling the grounds and using the money for some other purpose. The matter was finally referred to the Building and Grounds Committee who will meet with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce in an effort to devise a means of repairing the building and keeping the grounds in fit condition to use.

Note: In July 1932 the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs tried to reopen the Maxwell Park for the rest of the summer. The Park would later be closed permanently.

Thanks to Kevin B for this series of articles. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Maxwell Park Part Four

Part 4
Lawrence County News September 19, 1917
 Playground Supervision
 Children Will Be Required to Observe Rules and Regulations

Three accidents of a more or less serious nature happened at Maxwell Park last week and in the future certain rules and regulations will be enforced. Wednesday evening, Fred Tewell fell from a small slide and broke both bones in his right arm at the wrist. Saturday, the little son of George Tennison, sustained a fracture of an arm and Sunday afternoon, the eight year old daughter of Charles Summer, suffered a severe injury to her left hand which resulted in the loss of the second finger at the first joint with the third finger of the same hand broken at the second joint.

Some of the larger boys seem to take delight in teasing and tormenting the smaller children in various ways. The accident to the Summers child would not have happened had it not been for this class of boys. Two or three of the rougher element have been caught smearing the roller coaster with mud and one day a nail was driven through the slide from the underside. In this case, the culprit was not discovered, or the result might not have been to his liking.

To guard against this rougher element, the grounds will be under supervision of some adult person at all times in the future. Prof. Grounds will be in charge the next two weeks assisted by Officer Brewer. The park will be open from four till seven on school days, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The curfew will be set at 7 p.m. and all children must leave the grounds at once.

Prof. Williams of the high school will have personal charge of the park following the two weeks allotted by Prof. Grounds.  After this the apparatus will be stored for the winter and the grounds worked over and fenced.

In the meantime every boy and girl who believes in fair play and a good time is earnestly requested to assist the management in maintaining order and report all violations of the rules. Those in persist in being rough will be barred from the playground.

Newspaper photograph of Maxwell Park showing double sliding board
 on which Charles W. Boldrey (left) and a friend sat. Charles was 15 when this photograph was taken. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Maxwell Park Part Three

Part Three

Lawrence County News September 12, 1917
We Now Own Maxwell Park
Deed Turned Over to Acting Mayor Abernathy

The formal presentation of Maxwell park took place Thursday night. Rain seriously interfered with the attendance at the opening, but a goodly crowd was present and all enjoyed the program prepared for the occasion.

After a couple of numbers by the band, Mrs. S. E. Jones sang “When You and I were Young, Maggie,” and as an encore, sang the first verse of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Mrs. Jones has a wonderful voice and was at her best Thursday evening. This was her first appearance with the band, but all who heard her, hope it won’t be her last.

Prof. Williams acted as Master of Ceremonies and introduced Mr. Maxwell who gave a brief resume of his reasons for presenting the playground to the city and expressed hope that every child of the city and surrounding community would feel free to enjoy its privilege. The only restriction placed on the children are they come with clean faces and act as little men and woman should. In his talk, he stated the Central Refining Co. had already consulted an architect and that plans for a rest room and shelter in case of rain were under way. Indian Refinery, Ohio Oil Co. and others were interested in the playground and would doubtless take definite action in the near future.

At the close of his talk he presented the deeds for the property to Acting Mayor Abernathy. The deeds were signed by Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell and contain a reverting clause should the ground cease to be used for a playground or park purpose.

N.M. Tohill responded on behalf of the city and paid a high tribute to Mr. Maxwell stating he had known him for many years and this magnificent gift to the children was characteristic of Mr. Maxwell, who was always looking for something to do for others and took a delight in doing things for Lawrenceville.

After a couple of selections by the city band, the meeting was adjourned,  but the children remained until the last automobile as gone.The possibilities for Maxwell Park are unlimited after Central Refining Co. announced the building of a rest room by  Lawrence County Lumber Co. with a proposition to build a concrete bandstand at the park.

It begins to look like the project will be bigger than Mr. Maxwell had planned but he was going through with it and while outside help is appreciated he is going through with his original plan whether financial assistance is extended or not.